SQLIO is a free utility from Microsoft that measures storage IO performance. The name “SQLIO” is horribly misleading, because it doesn’t really have anything to do with SQL Server.

The SQLIO Disk Subsystem Benchmark Tool has been retired and replaced by DiskSpd.exe. You can download the tool and documentation from http://aka.ms/diskspd. Please download the readme file for more details.

The rest of this article relates to the deprecated utility sqlio.exe. ORDER BY imp.parameterrowid

Contents

SQLIO Video Tutorial

In this ten-minute video, Brent Ozar explains how to get started with SQLIO, how to create a batch file to test your SAN, and how to analyze the results.

http://www.toadworld.com/platforms/sql-server/m/mediagallery/1231.aspx

For more video tutorials like this, check out the Media page.

Downloading and Configuring SQLIO

[Download SQLIO from Microsoft]

Notice that I said SQLIO, not SQLIOSIM. Experienced database administrators will often direct you to SQLIOSIM because it’s easier to use and mimics SQL Server’s disk activity patterns. Here’s the catch: it won’t necessarily test your SAN to its maximum potential. Your SAN team may indicate that if your SQLIOSIM results aren’t fast enough, it’s a SQL-related problem, not a SAN-related problem. They may use testing utilities from vendors that mimic results closer to what SQLIO will give you. We want to push the SAN’s pedal to the metal and find out how fast it’ll go in any situation.

For Microsoft SQL Server 2005, SQLIOSim was shipped as a separate download package. Starting with SQL Server 2008, SQLIOSim is included with the SQL Server product installation. When you install SQL Server, you find the SQLIOSim tool in the BINN folder of your SQL Server installation. Customers can use these updated versions of the tool to simulate the IO activity on the disk subsystem.

The SQLIOSim utility replaces the SQLIOStress utility. The SQLIOStress utility was formerly known as the SQL70IOStress utility.

After installing SQLIO, edit the param.txt file and change these two parameters:

  • First parameter – the physical location of the testing file. Change the drive letter to point to the SAN drive you want to test, like T:\testfile.dat.
  • Last parameter – the size of the testing file in megabytes. Increase this to 20480 or larger. Ideally, you want it to be larger than your SAN’s cache, because your real databases will be larger than the SAN’s cache.

After saving param.txt, run this at the command line in the same directory where SQLIO is installed in order to create the test file:

sqlio -kW -s10 -fsequential -o8 -b8 -LS -Fparam.txt timeout /T 10

When it finishes, your test file is created, and it’s time to run our real tests.

Testing Your SAN Performance

Instead of picking and choosing individual parameters to use, I like to take the shotgun approach: try every possible combination of random versus sequential, low and high numbers of threads, read versus write, etc. The below batch file will take all of the possibilities and run ’em all. Copy/paste this into a text file called SANTest.bat:

sqlio -kW -t2 -s120 -dM -o1 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t2 -s120 -dM -o2 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t2 -s120 -dM -o4 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t2 -s120 -dM -o8 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t2 -s120 -dM -o16 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t2 -s120 -dM -o32 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t2 -s120 -dM -o64 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t2 -s120 -dM -o128 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat

sqlio -kW -t4 -s120 -dM -o1 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t4 -s120 -dM -o2 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t4 -s120 -dM -o4 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t4 -s120 -dM -o8 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t4 -s120 -dM -o16 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t4 -s120 -dM -o32 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t4 -s120 -dM -o64 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t4 -s120 -dM -o128 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat

sqlio -kW -t8 -s120 -dM -o1 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t8 -s120 -dM -o2 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t8 -s120 -dM -o4 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t8 -s120 -dM -o8 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t8 -s120 -dM -o16 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t8 -s120 -dM -o32 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t8 -s120 -dM -o64 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t8 -s120 -dM -o128 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat

sqlio -kW -t16 -s120 -dM -o1 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t16 -s120 -dM -o2 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t16 -s120 -dM -o4 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t16 -s120 -dM -o8 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t16 -s120 -dM -o16 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t16 -s120 -dM -o32 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t16 -s120 -dM -o64 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t16 -s120 -dM -o128 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat

sqlio -kW -t32 -s120 -dM -o1 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t32 -s120 -dM -o2 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t32 -s120 -dM -o4 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t32 -s120 -dM -o8 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t32 -s120 -dM -o16 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t32 -s120 -dM -o32 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t32 -s120 -dM -o64 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t32 -s120 -dM -o128 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat

sqlio -kW -t64 -s120 -dM -o1 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t64 -s120 -dM -o2 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t64 -s120 -dM -o4 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t64 -s120 -dM -o8 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t64 -s120 -dM -o16 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t64 -s120 -dM -o32 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t64 -s120 -dM -o64 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t64 -s120 -dM -o128 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat

sqlio -kR -t2 -s120 -dM -o1 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t2 -s120 -dM -o2 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t2 -s120 -dM -o4 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t2 -s120 -dM -o8 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t2 -s120 -dM -o16 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t2 -s120 -dM -o32 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t2 -s120 -dM -o64 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t2 -s120 -dM -o128 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat

sqlio -kR -t4 -s120 -dM -o1 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t4 -s120 -dM -o2 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t4 -s120 -dM -o4 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t4 -s120 -dM -o8 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t4 -s120 -dM -o16 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t4 -s120 -dM -o32 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t4 -s120 -dM -o64 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t4 -s120 -dM -o128 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat

sqlio -kR -t8 -s120 -dM -o1 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t8 -s120 -dM -o2 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t8 -s120 -dM -o4 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t8 -s120 -dM -o8 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t8 -s120 -dM -o16 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t8 -s120 -dM -o32 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t8 -s120 -dM -o64 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t8 -s120 -dM -o128 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat

sqlio -kR -t16 -s120 -dM -o1 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t16 -s120 -dM -o2 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t16 -s120 -dM -o4 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t16 -s120 -dM -o8 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t16 -s120 -dM -o16 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t16 -s120 -dM -o32 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t16 -s120 -dM -o64 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t16 -s120 -dM -o128 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat

sqlio -kR -t32 -s120 -dM -o1 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t32 -s120 -dM -o2 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t32 -s120 -dM -o4 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t32 -s120 -dM -o8 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t32 -s120 -dM -o16 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t32 -s120 -dM -o32 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t32 -s120 -dM -o64 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t32 -s120 -dM -o128 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat

sqlio -kR -t64 -s120 -dM -o1 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t64 -s120 -dM -o2 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t64 -s120 -dM -o4 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t64 -s120 -dM -o8 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t64 -s120 -dM -o16 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t64 -s120 -dM -o32 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t64 -s120 -dM -o64 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t64 -s120 -dM -o128 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat

sqlio -kW -t2 -s120 -dM -o1 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t2 -s120 -dM -o2 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t2 -s120 -dM -o4 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t2 -s120 -dM -o8 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t2 -s120 -dM -o16 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t2 -s120 -dM -o32 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t2 -s120 -dM -o64 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t2 -s120 -dM -o128 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat

sqlio -kW -t4 -s120 -dM -o1 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t4 -s120 -dM -o2 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t4 -s120 -dM -o4 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t4 -s120 -dM -o8 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t4 -s120 -dM -o16 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t4 -s120 -dM -o32 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t4 -s120 -dM -o64 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t4 -s120 -dM -o128 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat

sqlio -kW -t8 -s120 -dM -o1 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t8 -s120 -dM -o2 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t8 -s120 -dM -o4 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t8 -s120 -dM -o8 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t8 -s120 -dM -o16 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t8 -s120 -dM -o32 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t8 -s120 -dM -o64 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t8 -s120 -dM -o128 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat

sqlio -kW -t16 -s120 -dM -o1 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t16 -s120 -dM -o2 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t16 -s120 -dM -o4 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t16 -s120 -dM -o8 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t16 -s120 -dM -o16 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t16 -s120 -dM -o32 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t16 -s120 -dM -o64 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t16 -s120 -dM -o128 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat

sqlio -kW -t32 -s120 -dM -o1 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t32 -s120 -dM -o2 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t32 -s120 -dM -o4 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t32 -s120 -dM -o8 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t32 -s120 -dM -o16 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t32 -s120 -dM -o32 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t32 -s120 -dM -o64 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t32 -s120 -dM -o128 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat

sqlio -kW -t64 -s120 -dM -o1 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t64 -s120 -dM -o2 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t64 -s120 -dM -o4 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t64 -s120 -dM -o8 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t64 -s120 -dM -o16 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t64 -s120 -dM -o32 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t64 -s120 -dM -o64 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kW -t64 -s120 -dM -o128 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat

sqlio -kR -t2 -s120 -dM -o1 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t2 -s120 -dM -o2 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t2 -s120 -dM -o4 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t2 -s120 -dM -o8 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t2 -s120 -dM -o16 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t2 -s120 -dM -o32 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t2 -s120 -dM -o64 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t2 -s120 -dM -o128 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat

sqlio -kR -t4 -s120 -dM -o1 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t4 -s120 -dM -o2 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t4 -s120 -dM -o4 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t4 -s120 -dM -o8 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t4 -s120 -dM -o16 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t4 -s120 -dM -o32 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t4 -s120 -dM -o64 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t4 -s120 -dM -o128 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat

sqlio -kR -t8 -s120 -dM -o1 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t8 -s120 -dM -o2 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t8 -s120 -dM -o4 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t8 -s120 -dM -o8 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t8 -s120 -dM -o16 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t8 -s120 -dM -o32 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t8 -s120 -dM -o64 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t8 -s120 -dM -o128 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat

sqlio -kR -t16 -s120 -dM -o1 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t16 -s120 -dM -o2 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t16 -s120 -dM -o4 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t16 -s120 -dM -o8 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t16 -s120 -dM -o16 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t16 -s120 -dM -o32 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t16 -s120 -dM -o64 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t16 -s120 -dM -o128 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat

sqlio -kR -t32 -s120 -dM -o1 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t32 -s120 -dM -o2 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t32 -s120 -dM -o4 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t32 -s120 -dM -o8 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t32 -s120 -dM -o16 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t32 -s120 -dM -o32 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t32 -s120 -dM -o64 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t32 -s120 -dM -o128 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat

sqlio -kR -t64 -s120 -dM -o1 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t64 -s120 -dM -o2 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t64 -s120 -dM -o4 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t64 -s120 -dM -o8 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t64 -s120 -dM -o16 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t64 -s120 -dM -o32 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t64 -s120 -dM -o64 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat
sqlio -kR -t64 -s120 -dM -o128 -fsequential -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat

Whew! And that’s just one pass – if you want to do multiple passes of the same tests for consistency’s sake, like to eliminate the chance that other servers are running on the same SAN and affecting your performance results, you would want to paste that same set of 200+ lines multiple times into your batch file.

Let’s take the first line of the batch file and analyze what it’s doing:

sqlio -kW -t2 -s120 -dM -o1 -frandom -b64 -BH -LS Testfile.dat

The most important parameters are:

  • -kW means writes (as opposed to reads)
  • -t2 means two threads
  • -s120 means test for 120 seconds
  • -dM means drive letter M
  • -o1 means one outstanding request (not piling up requests)
  • -frandom means random access (as opposed to sequential)
  • -b64 means 64kb IOs

Do a find & replace in your text file and replace -dM with the drive letter of your choice. If you’re testing on your S drive, for example, you would replace -dM with -dS.

Then go to the command prompt in the same directory as SQLIO is installed and type:

SANTEST.BAT > RESULTS.TXT

This will run our newly created batch file and dump the results into a text file. This will take a long time, like six hours or more, and it will be hammering your SAN. Don’t run this on a production server, and don’t even run it on the same SAN as a production server when the production server is under load because it may time out. I’ve had instances where this batch file has actually caused a SAN to restart itself, so use this with caution – preferably in a test lab or before your SAN goes live.

Hours later, when it finishes, you’ll have a RESULTS.TXT file with lots of juicy metrics about your storage performance.

Importing SQLIO Results into SQL Server

Those text file results are cryptic – time to bring them into our favorite data analysis platform, Microsoft Access. Wait, I’m kidding, put the axe down – we’ll import them into SQL Server.

Script to Create the Tables and and ETL Stored Procedure

Before we start, create a database that you’ll use for SQLIO data storage or designate an existing utility database that you’ll use. This script requires SQL Server 2005 or newer, since it uses the varchar(max) field.

In that database, run the below script to create the tables for results storage:

SET ANSI_NULLS ON
 GO
 SET QUOTED_IDENTIFIER ON
 GO
 CREATE TABLE [dbo].[SQLIO_Import](
 [RowID] [int] IDENTITY(1,1) NOT NULL,
 [ParameterRowID] [int] NULL,
 [ResultText] [varchar](max) NULL,
 CONSTRAINT [PK_SQLIO_Import] PRIMARY KEY CLUSTERED
 (
 [RowID] ASC
 ))
 GO
 CREATE TABLE [dbo].[SQLIO_TestPass](
 [TestPassID] [int] IDENTITY(1,1) NOT NULL,
 [ServerName] [nvarchar](50) NOT NULL,
 [DriveQty] [int] NOT NULL,
 [DriveRPM] [int] NOT NULL,
 [DriveRaidLevel] [nvarchar](10) NOT NULL,
 [TestDate] [datetime] NOT NULL,
 [SANmodel] [nvarchar](50) NOT NULL,
 [SANfirmware] [nvarchar](50) NULL,
 [PartitionOffset] [int] NULL,
 [Filesystem] [nvarchar](50) NULL,
 [FSClusterSizeBytes] [int] NULL,
 [SQLIO_Version] [nvarchar](20) NULL,
 [Threads] [int] NULL,
 [ReadOrWrite] [nchar](1) NULL,
 [DurationSeconds] [int] NULL,
 [SectorSizeKB] [int] NULL,
 [IOpattern] [nvarchar](50) NULL,
 [IOsOutstanding] [int] NULL,
 [Buffering] [nvarchar](50) NULL,
 [FileSizeMB] [int] NULL,
 [IOs_Sec] [decimal](18, 0) NULL,
 [MBs_Sec] [decimal](18, 0) NULL,
 [LatencyMS_Min] [int] NULL,
 [LatencyMS_Avg] [int] NULL,
 [LatencyMS_Max] [int] NULL,
 CONSTRAINT [PK_SQLIO_TestPass] PRIMARY KEY CLUSTERED
 (
 [TestPassID] ASC
 ))
 GO
 CREATE PROCEDURE [dbo].[USP_Import_SQLIO_TestPass]
 @ServerName NVARCHAR(50),
 @DriveQty INT,
 @DriveRPM INT,
 @DriveRaidLevel NVARCHAR(10),
 @TestDate DATETIME,
 @SANmodel NVARCHAR(50),
 @SANfirmware NVARCHAR(50),
 @PartitionOffset INT,
 @Filesystem NVARCHAR(50),
 @FSClusterSizeBytes INT
 AS
 SET nocount off
IF @TestDate IS NULL
 SET @TestDate = Getdate()
 /* Add a blank record to the end so the last test result is captured */
 INSERT INTO dbo.SQLIO_Import
 (ParameterRowID,
 ResultText)
 VALUES
 (0,
 '')
 /* Update the ParameterRowID field for easier querying */
 UPDATE dbo.sqlio_import
 SET parameterrowid = (SELECT TOP 1 rowid
 FROM dbo.sqlio_import parm
 WHERE parm.resulttext LIKE '%\%'
 AND parm.rowid <= upd.rowid
 ORDER BY rowid DESC)
 FROM dbo.sqlio_import upd
 /* Add new SQLIO_TestPass records from SQLIO_Import */
 INSERT INTO dbo.sqlio_testpass
 (servername,
 driveqty,
 driverpm,
 driveraidlevel,
 testdate,
 sanmodel,
 sanfirmware,
 partitionoffset,
 filesystem,
 fsclustersizebytes,
 sqlio_version,
 threads,
 readorwrite,
 durationseconds,
 sectorsizekb,
 iopattern,
 iosoutstanding,
 buffering,
 filesizemb,
 ios_sec,
 mbs_sec,
 latencyms_min,
 latencyms_avg,
 latencyms_max)
 SELECT @ServerName,
 @DriveQty,
 @DriveRPM,
 @DriveRaidLevel,
 @TestDate,
 @SANmodel,
 @SANfirmware,
 @PartitionOffset,
 @Filesystem,
 @FSClusterSizeBytes,
 (SELECT REPLACE(resulttext,'sqlio ','')
 FROM dbo.sqlio_import impsqlio_version
 WHERE imp.rowid + 1 = impsqlio_version.rowid) AS sqlio_version,
 (SELECT LEFT(resulttext,(Charindex(' threads',resulttext)))
 FROM dbo.sqlio_import impthreads
 WHERE imp.rowid + 3 = impthreads.rowid) AS threads,
 (SELECT Upper(Substring(resulttext,(Charindex('threads ',resulttext)) + 8,
 1))
 FROM dbo.sqlio_import impreadorwrite
 WHERE imp.rowid + 3 = impreadorwrite.rowid) AS readorwrite,
 (SELECT Substring(resulttext,(Charindex(' for',resulttext)) + 4,
 (Charindex(' secs ',resulttext)) - (Charindex(' for',resulttext)) - 4)
 FROM dbo.sqlio_import impdurationseconds
 WHERE imp.rowid + 3 = impdurationseconds.rowid) AS durationseconds,
 (SELECT Substring(resulttext,7,(Charindex('KB',resulttext)) - 7)
 FROM dbo.sqlio_import impsectorsizekb
 WHERE imp.rowid + 4 = impsectorsizekb.rowid) AS sectorsizekb,
 (SELECT Substring(resulttext,(Charindex('KB ',resulttext)) + 3,
 (Charindex(' IOs',resulttext)) - (Charindex('KB ',resulttext)) - 3)
 FROM dbo.sqlio_import impiopattern
 WHERE imp.rowid + 4 = impiopattern.rowid) AS iopattern,
 (SELECT Substring(resulttext,(Charindex('with ',resulttext)) + 5,
 (Charindex(' outstanding',resulttext)) - (Charindex('with ',resulttext)) - 5)
 FROM dbo.sqlio_import impiosoutstanding
 WHERE imp.rowid + 5 = impiosoutstanding.rowid) AS iosoutstanding,
 (SELECT REPLACE(CAST(resulttext AS NVARCHAR(50)),'buffering set to ',
 '')
 FROM dbo.sqlio_import impbuffering
 WHERE imp.rowid + 6 = impbuffering.rowid) AS buffering,
 (SELECT Substring(resulttext,(Charindex('size: ',resulttext)) + 6,
 (Charindex(' for ',resulttext)) - (Charindex('size: ',resulttext)) - 9)
 FROM dbo.sqlio_import impfilesizemb
 WHERE imp.rowid + 7 = impfilesizemb.rowid) AS filesizemb,
 (SELECT RIGHT(resulttext,(Len(resulttext) - 10))
 FROM dbo.sqlio_import impios_sec
 WHERE imp.rowid + 11 = impios_sec.rowid) AS ios_sec,
 (SELECT RIGHT(resulttext,(Len(resulttext) - 10))
 FROM dbo.sqlio_import impmbs_sec
 WHERE imp.rowid + 12 = impmbs_sec.rowid) AS mbs_sec,
 (SELECT RIGHT(resulttext,(Len(resulttext) - 17))
 FROM dbo.sqlio_import implatencyms_min
 WHERE imp.rowid + 14 = implatencyms_min.rowid) AS latencyms_min,
 (SELECT RIGHT(resulttext,(Len(resulttext) - 17))
 FROM dbo.sqlio_import implatencyms_avg
 WHERE imp.rowid + 15 = implatencyms_avg.rowid) AS latencyms_avg,
 (SELECT RIGHT(resulttext,(Len(resulttext) - 17))
 FROM dbo.sqlio_import implatencyms_max
 WHERE imp.rowid + 16 = implatencyms_max.rowid) AS latencyms_max
 FROM dbo.sqlio_import imp
 INNER JOIN dbo.sqlio_import impfulltest
 ON imp.rowid + 20 = impfulltest.rowid
 AND impfulltest.resulttext = ''
 WHERE imp.rowid = imp.parameterrowid
 /*AND (SELECT Substring(resulttext,(Charindex('size: ',resulttext)) + 6,
 (Charindex(' for ',resulttext)) - (Charindex('size: ',resulttext)) - 9)
 FROM dbo.sqlio_import impfilesizemb
 WHERE imp.rowid + 7 = impfilesizemb.rowid) > 0 */
 ORDER BY imp.parameterrowid
/* Empty out the ETL table */
 DELETE dbo.sqlio_import
SET nocount off
 GO

The script creates three things:

  • A table called SQLIO_Import where our results will first be dumped from the text file before they’re processed
  • A table called SQLIO_TestPass where our results will be permanently stored in a report-friendly format
  • A stored procedure called USP_Import_SQLIO_TestPass. The stored procedure takes the data from our imported text file, parses it, and inserts records into the SQLIO_TestPass table.

The stored procedure expects these parameters, which it uses when inserting into SQLIO_TestPass. None of these have to be formatted a specific way – as long as they fit the SQL Server field definitions, they’re fine:

  • @ServerName NVARCHAR(50) – the name of the server you’re using for testing. This is mostly useful for servers with locally attached storage as opposed to SAN storage.
  • @DriveQty INT – the number of drives in the array you’re testing.
  • @DriveRPM INT – you might be testing 10k and 15k variations of the same setup. I suggest lumping drives into categories – don’t try to differentiate between drives that report 10,080 RPM or other odd numbers – just stick with 5400, 10000, 150000, etc. For SSD, I prefer to use a number for the generation of SSD, like 1 or 2.
  • @DriveRaidLevel NVARCHAR(10) – raid 5, raid 0, raid 10, raid DP, etc. (Yes, there are vendor-specific RAID implementations that use letters instead of numbers.)
  • @TestDate DATETIME – the date you’re running the tests. I include this as a parameter because sometimes I’ve run the same tests on a quarterly basis and I want to track whether things are changing over time.
  • @SANmodel NVARCHAR(50) – the type of SAN, such as an IBM DS4800 or EMC CX300.
  • @SANfirmware NVARCHAR(50) – the version of firmware, which can impact SAN performance.
  • @PartitionOffset INT – Windows systems can use DISKPART to offset their partitions.
  • @Filesystem NVARCHAR(50) – usually NTFS. Can be used to track testing different filesystems.
  • @FSClusterSizeBytes INT – the file system cluster size.

Now that our framework is in place, let’s import our first round of results.

Importing the Text File into SQL Server 2005

  • In SQL Server Management Studio, right-click on the database where you want to store the SQLIO performance data and click Tasks, Import Data.
  • For Data Source, choose “Flat File Source”. Browse to your results.txt file, and set the Format to Delimited, Text Qualifier to None, Header row delimiter to {CR}{LF}, and Header Rows to Skip to 0.
  • Click on the Advanced tab on the left, and there should only be one column, Column 0. Set the DataType to text stream. Click Next.
  • Your database server and storage database should be shown. Click Next.
  • For the Destination Table, choose SQLIO_Import and click Edit Mappings. Set the Column 0 destination to be ResultText. Click OK, and click Next.
  • Click Next until the wizard finishes and imports the data, and then close the wizard.

Open a new query and verify that the data was successfully imported by typing:

SELECT * FROM dbo.SQLIO_Import

If there’s no rows, something went wrong with the import process. Stop here and troubleshoot. Otherwise, execute the stored procedure to move the data into the reporting table, like this:

EXECUTE [dbo].[USP_Import_SQLIO_TestPass]
 'MyServerName'
 ,10
 ,15000
 ,'RAID 10'
 ,'2008/5/6'
 ,'IBM DS4800'
 ,'6.62'
 ,1024
 ,'NTFS'
 ,'65536' -- 64K

The data will be parsed and inserted into the reporting table, which we can query:

SELECT * FROM dbo.SQLIO_TestPass

Now, the data is arranged in a way that’s easier for reporting.

Start by analyzing the data to find the fastest SAN throughput:

SELECT * FROM dbo.SQLIO_TestPass ORDER BY MBs_Sec DESC

That column is the SAN’s throughput. Notice the LatencyMS_Avg column, though, which indicates the milliseconds of latency. A high throughput number is not necessarily good if the system is taking a long time to respond. Look for five or so of the highest throughput numbers that represents a good balance of high throughput and low latency.

Then, look at the parameters that were used in order to achieve that throughput. Make a note of these, because if you need to do repeated throughput testing on your SAN to test different configurations, you can use these high-throughput configurations to run a much shorter testing pass. Instead of testing your SAN overnight, you can get a quick idea in a matter of minutes because you’ll know what parameters tend to drive very high throughput on your SAN. You’ll still want to test all parameters when possible, because changes to the SAN may affect how it handles other parameters, but this will give you a quick estimate of whether things are getting better or worse.

More Reading About SQLIO

Here’s a few interesting links about other bloggers’ experience with SQLIO:

Source:
http://www.toadworld.com/platforms/sql-server/w/wiki/10406.san-performance-tuning-with-sqlio.aspx